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here goes nothing

January 16, 2012 by anisa

Well I’m on my way, and I couldn’t leave without a post to get things started. The last month has been a full-on whirlwind of putting my Seattle-life into storage, packing my Africa-life into two suitcases (I dare you to pack your next year into a suitcase), getting travel immunizations, starting to work remotely, drinking ridiculous amounts of Seattle coffee, and spending as much time with friends and family, over some of the best meals I’ve had all year. Some days it felt like I was living someone else’s life… but today I’m on a plane to Africa, and today, I know this moment is mine.

Last week I left Seattle to spend time at the Clinton Foundation headquarters in Boston. The Boston offices are a stomping ground for both local and global staff, and I was lucky enough to pass through on a particularly eventful week. While Bill C wasn’t there himself, I was able to meet colleagues who were in town from all over the globe. I quickly realized that I’m working with some of the brightest and most talented players in global health, and that I’ve got my work cut out for me. I look forward running hard for the next 12 months to keep up with them.


Another reason I needed time in Boston was to work out the details for a visa to Kenya. Getting a work permit in South Africa wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be, so I’ll be starting out in Nairobi. I’m equally happy to be going back to Kenya for the time being, and feel good about starting out in a place I’ve been to before. Plus, to give you some context about how much I’ll be traveling this year, my boss (who is meeting me in Nairobi) hasn’t been to her home base of Nigeria since November. We’ll see how much time I actually spend at my home base. In any case, I’m still just as excited about Kenya as I was on the day I first applied for the job.


When I was looking through jobs this past fall, this was the one that made my heart skip a beat – the way that a good conversation can inspire you to act, or a piece of music can take your breath away. The way you feel after you push yourself to do something you didn’t imagine possible. Like the rest of us, I’m seeking moments like this – where I can find purpose and joy, in its simplest form. Not just professionally, but in all parts of my life. I went through a lot of change in 2011 – and I spent much of my time dwelling on uncertainties, instead of navigating my way through them. I’ve come into 2012 seeking calmness amongst the impermanence, and attempting to live ever so presently with my choices. Getting this job has been the catalyst for my attempt to live mindfully, but I recognize the rest is up to me to take, day by day. I know this year is not going to be perfect. I know that I will make mistakes. That there will be days that I will be uncomfortable and I will want to come home. But that’s fine. I am excited about the possibility to grow, to learn, and to refine my purpose.

So here’s to a new year. A new job. A new home. A great adventure. To constant revisions.

And to being wide awake through it all.



  1. alixrose says:

    I couldn’t be prouder of you. I remember when you told me that you were applying for this job, and I also remember you told me that you got the job – I was excited and sad at the same time. I will miss you tons, but I know this is where you’re meant to be. Can’t wait to read all about it in the coming year.

  2. evbeff says:

    Great post:) i’m glad you are there safe. post some pictures next time of you in your safari outfit. luffu.

  3. Caz says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for or more proud of anyone in my whole life! Love you, miss you and can’t wait to hear about your adventures xoxoxo

  4. Jeanna says:

    I’m really excited to read about your adventures through your blog. I worked on a HIV/AIDS African initiative for World Vision for three years, and going to Africa has always been a dream (one I’m going to try to hit in the next couple years). Safe travels to you, pretty lady!

  5. Erica says:

    You are amazing! Enjoy!! xx

  6. Erica says:

    Also could you have some chapatti and samosa for me and one of those amazing mango drinks…

  7. Fozi says:

    anisa jan we have agood friend which they live there for the past 25 year his name is Dr Korush Kassire he is a dentist and his wife is shahnaz and have health food stor
    love you and with you well
    khaleh Fozi

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